Thursday, July 12, 2007


Sol has unfortunately had to go away but I'm trying to keep the dream alive and have tried to make some typical biscuits. Maicenas
are a typical afternoon tea and feature the classic combination of
dulce de leche and desiccated coconut.
They are supposed to be melt in your mouth biscuits sandwiched together with dulce
and given a rim of coconut. Mine weren't quite "melt in your mouth" but
still were light with a good crumb and very popular at work.

This recipe is from a great recipe anthology called "Cien Años de Cocina Salteña" (One hundred years of salteñan cooking) that covers the whole range of traditional dishes.

500g Maicena (corn starch)
325g flour
250g sugar
250g butter (I used softened but have heard of people using melted since)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
6 eggs (using farm fresh from a patient´s family gave beautiful rich yellow colour to my second attempt)
dulce de leche (as required)

Beat the egg whites to soft peak stage (punto de nieve
in Spanish - snow point). Add the yolks and sugar. Sieve the
dry ingredients and add to the previous mix stirring well to combine
but not kneading or overworking. Add butter.
Roll out thinly and cut with a round cutter. Bake in a moderate oven (180ºC).
Once cooled pair biscuits with a layer of dulce de leche. Roll the sticky edge in desiccated coconut if desired.

Post Script:
I tried using melted butter instead. The maicenas were a success, one hungover and hungry colleague even gave them a 10/10! Talking to many people around Salta the melted or softened butter question is open to personal preference.
Getting a uniform texture and not overworking the dough is difficult
with both melted and softened butter.


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